Scammers posing as conveyancers have recently swindled clients in South Australia and Western Australia, with Queensland property buyers also warned to be alert.
In the three South Australian and Western Australian cases, property buyers were targeted by fraudsters posing as their conveyancers. In each incident, clients were sent bogus emails with bank account details and asked to deposit money.
The Adelaide Advertiser has reported that in one case, quick action meant that the National Australia Bank was able to cancel the transaction and retrieve the victim’s money. However, other victims may not be so lucky, and could potentially lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Authorities continue to warn clients of conveyancing firms Australia-wide about email scams.
Although many people know to be wary of sharing personal information on public platforms like Facebook, in these cases it appears that the clients’ private emails discussing their imminent property purchases were intercepted by the fraudsters.
Spot On Conveyancing continues and updates its previous warning to clients about receiving emails purportedly from us asking you to deposit money into a bank account to finalise your property deal.
Cyberscam warnings remain current
The sophisticated real estate cyberscam has prompted strong warnings from Consumer Protection.
The Australian Institute of Conveyancers has also distributed advice to its members and is working with insurers. However, the institute’s South Australian CEO Rebecca Hayes emphasises that consumers also need to be alert and take responsibility for their own cybersafety.
Spot On Conveyancing repeats our advice to clients to be wary of sharing personal information online, even by email, about your intentions to purchase property, and to always check banking or email details in person with your settlement agency. Please contact us immediately if you receive such an email.
To report a cyber attack or loss to a scam, contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.